New York--The automotive industry will conduct nearly 50% of its b-to-b purchasing online by 2006, according to a new Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. report. Jupiter estimates the automotive industry this year is doing only 10% of its b-to-b spending online. "Manufacturers should look to the automotive industry to see growing trends in b-to-b e-commerce," said Jupiter analyst Jon cq Gibs cq in a statement. "Evolving Internet technologies, the slowdown in new car sales and fierce competition among automakers are forcing manufacturers to connect electronically with their trading partners and end customers to stay competitive." Seventy percent of companies polled view online b-to-b commerce as a competitive advantage, according to the survey. Sixty-two percent view it as a way to save money. Only 13% said they do not see value in b-to-b online initiatives.Jupiter also forecast strong overall b-to-b online spending growth over the next few years in its report, "B-to-B Spending 2006: Awaiting the Spending Inflection." Companies will funnel $4.2 trillion into online b-to-b spending in 2006, up from $466 billion this year. Jupiter noted this year's moribund b-to-b environment and attributed it to a slowdown in global companies' 2000 discretionary spending on software and services. The firm polled 400 executives across a range of industries, including automotive, metals and mining, aerospace and defense.
--Philip B. Clark